Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vivid Gloom

(2nd photo is a revision: per TallTchr's suggestion. I think it works. See comments.)

One thing I can say for June Gloom: it makes colors vivid. The only adjustment I made to this photo was to crop out some driveway.
I spent almost all day yesterday trying to learn how to sort photos in iPhoto. I made no progress. Wheeee! I don't know where my photos are, or where to put new ones. I'm sure I have a say in the matter, but I haven't figured out how to get iPhoto to listen to me. I got yer vivid gloom right here.

The bright side: there's not a single virus on this little Mac. And there's no spam in my inbox. Ha!

Plus I have a genius for a husband. He helped me figure out how to sort my photos without iPhoto, so there.

Most days I learn something. Yesterday I learned what I already knew.

Friday, June 12, 2009


It's Jacaranda time in Pasadena.
We've got a lot of blogs here in town. A lot of good ones. For keeping up with what's happening the best one is Hometown Pasadena, managed/operated/lovingly filled to the brim by editor and publisher Colleen Dunn Bates, who seemingly can do no wrong. Right now she's got a couple of pretty shots of the jacaranda trees along Del Mar Blvd

Then again, what hasn't she got? It's a mind-bogglingly fabulous website that functions like a blog, or about a hundred blogs. I don't know how she does it, but she does it so well.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Course

I need a break from dreary skies, so I looked through my files for a sunny picture. We're supposed to have sun today. Fingers crossed.

I took this shot a couple of weeks ago, peeking through the fence at Brookside Golf Club north of the Rose Bowl Stadium. The stadium has been known to use the course as a parking lot.

I couldn't find much history of the course itself, but it's part of the Brookside Park complex, a Pasadena crown jewel containing the Rose Bowl, Kidspace Museum, miles of hiking trails and more.

Got any golf stories to pass the time until summer finally shows up?

If I haven't been to visit your blog lately, please give me some time to catch up.

Ann Erdman, Pasadena's Public Information Officer, added some terrific information in the comments. I quote her here:
Some history because I can't help myself:
With 36 holes (two 18-hole courses) in a beautiful, natural setting, Brookside Golf Course is continually listed among the top golf courses in California and among the top municipal courses in the nation.

Many people mistakenly call it Brookside Country Club, I presume because it as un-municipal-looking as a golf course could get. But it's owned by the City of Pasadena and membership is not required. In fact, if you live in Pasadena, you get a lower rate than outsiders if you play there.

It's also known as one of college football's greenest parking lots. In the areas where vehicles park during Rose Bowl games and major concerts, the irrigation pipes are situated much deeper under the ground so they don't get crushed. There's also the obligatory and very special turf management as a result of the parking. 

The first of the two courses was designed by Billy Bell and constructed in 1928 at a time when organized recreation was becoming more and more popular in the Arroyo Seco. Since then, of course, the goal is to protect the Arroyo Seco from further development.

The PGA had a Pasadena Open at Brookside annually from 1929 to 1938, and the 1968 L.A. Open was at Brookside. 

Since it is a publicly owned course, you can go into Brookside Clubhouse any time and look around at the memoriabilia, visit the pro shop and have a nice lunch in the restaurant with spectacular views.

The 3.3-mile Rose Bowl Loop goes around part of the property, intersecting between the two 18-hole courses. Walk around the loop with Mayor Bill Bogaard and special guests the first Wednesday of every month at 7:30 a.m. (meet at Rose Bowl Stadium's Gate A).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Hole Lot of Dedication

It's one thing to view an inanimate work of art, to walk around it, think about it, maybe even touch it. It's quite another when human beings actually become their art.
Yesterday I promised to clear the air about the pumpkin man featured in this week's Zen Monday post. I first saw him on the path during New Town's On the Trail Of, a series of open-air art installations (plus this one bit of performance art) at Oak Grove Park last weekend.

Joseph Ravens and Taisha Paggett title their work I Think That I Shall Never See... and describe it thus: "A person, resembling an enormous solemn doll, carries a large shovel, seeking a perfect place for a hole, always searching, almost digging. A large-headed solemn doll struggles to carry a small tree, seemingly in search of the hole never dug."

I reacted with delight at seeing the "large-headed solemn doll" on the path. (If I hadn't known I was at an art event I might have felt differently!) And it was compelling to see the two of them struggle across the frisbee golf course amid the reactions of people out for an afternoon of frisbee and beer. Art like this--so unconventional, so demanding of both spectator and artist--speaks of the dedication of its creators.

Last weekend's event was funded by grants from Pasadena Art Alliance, the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division. I wanted to mention them a second time and give links to these groups. Events like "On the Trail Of" are close to impossible without financial help. But this one was a success, and New Town is able to pay the artists thanks to such funding.

Yesterday I received an email from Rochelle Branch, Cultural Affairs Manager of the city's Cultural Affairs Division. She said, "Thanks so much for mentioning New Town's art installation and the support of Cultural Affairs. We are always appreciative of local support for our treasured arts and culture organizations and we are particularly pleased to have provided financial support for this program."

I love this town.

More photos on Overdog.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Art and Craft

Wondering what Zen Monday was about yesterday?

It was about art. Or maybe magic.
New Town is a diverse arts group dedicated to bringing art to the public in myriad media and venues. This past weekend they presented On the Trail Of: A Half Mile of Al Fresco Installations, Sculptures and Performances, funded by grants from Pasadena Art Alliance, the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division.

The photo above shows part of Stomata/Stigmata by Karen Bonfigli & Andreas Hessing. The two artists hung about 100 terra cotta pots in Oak Grove Park. I've never spent much time at Oak Grove Park because that's where they play frisbee golf, and Boz tends to like frisbees a little too much. But on Saturday the old oak grove was alive with art, frisbees and something more. The pots seemed to have been hung by elves instead of humans, making the grove even more magical than it already is.

From each pot hung a little cord with a tag, and at the end of the cord, a tempting ring. My intrepid friend Linda took hold of one of those rings and pulled. At the other end of the cord was something we hadn't noticed. A cork.

The artists describe their work as "an abstracted version of 'stomata,' the pores on the surface of a leaf responsible for gas exchanges and transpiration." Their purpose, they go on to say, is "to make obvious why it is cooler under the shade of a tree and provide some entertainment and respite for the audience." They provided more. They cast a spell.

You may have guessed that yesterday's work was more on the order of performance art. Joseph Ravens and Taisha Paggett entitled their work I think that I shall Never See... But you shall. Tomorrow.

More photos on Overdog.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Zen Monday: #51

Zen Monday is the day you experience the photo and give us your thoughts rather than me telling you what the photo's about.

As I post each new Zen Monday photo, I'll add a label to last week's to identify it if necessary (and if I know what it is). Last week, you may recall, Zen Monday was on Tuesday.

Update: This week, it's only fair that I let you know tomorrow, so tune in.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fish Story

So I was standing in line to buy fish at the Farmers' Market yesterday--by the way, if you haven't tried the fish at the Saturday Pasadena Farmers' Market you're missing out. It's the freshest. And we love sisters Marilyn and Eileen and their friend Juan, who sell us delicious fish every week. The halibut is incredible--but I'm getting off track.
Where was I? Yes. So. I was standing in line to buy fish and I heard Pachelbel's Canon in D MajorPachelbel's Canon is popular. It's not unusual to hear it at the grocery store or on the radio. Everyone's heard it, it's the 17th Century's answer to Stairway to Heaven, or it would be, if such a thing were possible. But I'm not here to talk about time travel. And anyway, I usually hear the banjo guy or the zither man or the man who sings the Mexican folk songs. It is unusual to hear Pachelbel at the Farmers' Market while waiting in line for fish.

So. There were these two guys. Young. Dillon and Graeme. Or Graeme and Dillon, I'm not sure which is which and I didn't interrupt them to ask. They stood in the parking lot playing their violins for a small but rapt audience. I grabbed a business card that said "classical-contemporary-fiddle/violin duet for any occasion....especially YOUR occasion." You can email them at scran7 (at) att (dot) net (I got their permission to post it). 

These enterprising boys sounded pretty good with the Pachelbel and I wouldn't be surprised if they could give you some Page & Plant if you asked for it. (I can't guarantee that and I didn't ask, but Jimmy was known to play his guitar with a bow, so why not?)

I lost my place in line. But I went back and waited. It was worth it. I got the picture, and the last pound of halibut.